French President Francois Hollande has said Russia should not be considered a threat but rather a partner.
"NATO has no role at all to be saying what Europe's relations with Russia should be,” Hollande said on July 8 as he arrived for an alliance summit in Warsaw. “For France, Russia is not an adversary, not a threat."
"Russia is a partner which, it is true, may sometimes, and we have seen that in Ukraine, uses force which we have condemned when it annexed Crimea," he added.
Relations between NATO and Russia have reached their lowest point since the Cold War over Moscow’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and its role in the military conflict in eastern Ukraine.
But France, along with other NATO member states, have pressed for the alliance to keep its lines of communication with Moscow open.
Paris has also played a key role in efforts to implement the Minsk peace agreements aimed at putting an end to fighting between government forces and Russia-backed separatists in Ukraine’s east.
"We are still trying” to find a solution to the Ukraine crisis, the French president said.